When 13-year-old Emma arrived at the gates of the Canterbury Cathedral to do her duty by her Norman brother, she had no idea that she would be marrying England for life. In 1002, the King of England, Æthelred the Unready, entered into an agreement with the Duke of Normandy. Duke Richard would provide England with a much needed alliance against the raiding Northmen, while King Æthelred would provide the newly formed Norman duchy with the stability of land and coin. And Emma was the key. She would wed a king 21 years her senior and be anointed England’s Queen.
Unlike all the queens before her and unlike most who followed, Emma’s reign outlasted two husbands, two step-sons, and two sons, all of whom shared the crown with Emma during her lifetime. Beloved by her subjects, Emma was England’s heart, its strength, and its hope for the future. The only anointed Queen for five of the last Saxon kings and aunt to the conquering Norman kings, Emma’s bloodline has run through the veins of British monarchs and nobility throughout the ages.
Helen Hollick brings the story of England’s perpetual queen to life in The Forever Queen. Hollick captures the political intrigue of early Medieval England and presents the reader with some of the most colorful characters to sit on the British throne. And, despite the historical record having very little information about Queen Emma (aside from the Encomium Emmæ Reginæ, a “spin” biography commissioned by Emma to give credence to her son’s claim to the thrown), Hollick manages to see past the male monarchs of the time and find the unsung tale of Emma “Ælgifu” of England.
Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
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